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2010 Louisiana Annual Conference

June 6-9, 2010, Shreveport

The Louisiana Annual Conference, led by Bishop William W. Hutchinson, celebrated the theme "Whole World, Whole People" with a focus on the church's Global Health Initiative.

Special events included a clinic offering free HIV/AIDS tests to the public; tours of free clinics and a shelter for AIDS patients and a health fair for delegates.Conference members assembled hundreds of health and layette kits for distribution through UMCOR to earthquake-ravaged Haiti. Outreach projects also included a variety of painting and light carpentry projects, which upgraded the homes of local citizens with health-related issues.

Conference members also assembled 6,000 "bags of hope" for distribution to coastal residents and response workers affected by the devastating oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Local pastors who are serving on the "front lines" will facilitate the distribution of these bags, which contain a Bible, a copy of the Upper Room and a message of encouragement from the Louisiana Conference with contact information for these local churches. The Bibles were provided by the General Commission of United Methodist Men and the devotionals were provided by Upper Room Ministries.

Bishop Thomas Bickerton, resident bishop of the Pittsburgh Area, served as worship leader on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings and led a workshop on "Imagine No Malaria." Special collections were taken for HIV/AIDS research and the "Imagine No Malaria" initiative.

The conference adopted a resolution to establish a task force to study the camping and retreat ministries of the conference.

An $8.1 million budget was adopted by the conference for 2011.

Hutchinson ordained nine elders and one deacon in full connection with the conference; commissioned three as provisional elders and two as provisional deacons; and recognized the orders of one person from another Christian denomination, accepting him into full connection as an ordained elder. Seven people retired from ministry. Membership stands at 120,653, down 1,590 from 2008. Worship attendance stands at 41,646, down 969 from 2008. Sunday School attendance stands at 16,776, down 905 from 2008.

Betty Backstrom, Communications Director